2 July, 2024

Lisbon, Portugal – Migrants and refugees from diverse countries, including Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Angola, Gambia, and Zimbabwe, often face significant hurdles integrating into Portuguese society. Finding employment, navigating language barriers, and gaining recognition for their qualifications are among the most pressing challenges. AIMS International, the leading global HR advisory firm, recognized an opportunity to make a tangible difference during their 2024 Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lisbon this June.

Partnering with the Lisbon Project, a local NGO dedicated to supporting migrants and refugees, AIMS International’s team of Executive Search and Leadership Development professionals volunteered their expertise to conduct an impactful afternoon session. This initiative focused on empowering 55 community members from the Lisbon Project with essential skills and knowledge to enhance their employability prospects.

 

Building Confidence and Skills Through Practical Workshops

Margarida, Employability Manager at the Lisbon Project, identified a need for improved interview skills among community members. In response, AIMS International organized practical interview workshops. After the mock interview, participants received detailed feedback to improve their interview skills.

In addition to interview training, AIMS International designed and delivered a series of holistic professional development workshops:

  • CV and LinkedIn Workshop: Expert Search Consultants focused on optimizing resumes to showcase essential skills and build compelling LinkedIn profiles to attract recruiters.
  • Cultural Awareness Workshop: Our representative from AIMS Portugal provided insights into local business etiquette and cultural nuances to help attendees navigate the Portuguese business landscape.
  • Professional Communication Workshop: Experienced Coaches and Search Experts gave participants tried and tested communication tips.
A Rewarding Experience for All Involved

The workshops benefited both participants and the AIMS International Consultants.

Christiane Schwandt, Associated Partner at AIMS Germany, shared her experience: “Being actively involved in the Lisbon Project was a very special and positive experience for me. I was able to talk to four candidates from four different countries and cultures (Bangladesh, Nigeria, Egypt and Pakistan) and learn more about them and their lives. I was very pleased that they opened up to me. This was the only way I could give them advice on how to present themselves better in a job interview and how to improve their CVs. The candidates were very well prepared and also asked me numerous questions. I very much hope that they will soon find a job in Portugal. It was an honor to take part in the project.”

Janina Gebhard, Associated Partner at AIMS Germany, echoed these sentiments: “Participating in the Lisbon project was an incredibly rewarding experience for me. I had the opportunity to support participants in not only training their employability skills and interviewing competencies but also in giving them a huge amount of confidence and hope for setting up their new career and life paths in Portugal. Seeing the participants gain enthusiasm and preparedness as they embarked on their new journeys was truly gratifying.”

Maria Giarmeniti, Senior Consultant at AIMS Greece, had a similar experience: “I had the experience of providing interview guidance to the Lisbon project participants. For me it was a life changing experience as I got to interview foreign candidates who had just relocated to Lisbon from other countries. They were faced with employment challenges, difficult day to day living conditions and they were educated and brilliant candidates who are highly motivated to make it in Portugal. I was required to leave my comfort zone and approach the process with a strong sense of empathy and really make myself useful and find ways that I could support them in their job search.

 

A Legacy of Sustainable Impact

AIMS International is committed to sustainability and community engagement. “We hope to organise many more similar initiatives, ensuring we pay forward to the 60+ local communities where we operate. By supporting individuals achieve their professional goals, turning these individuals into leaders with a sustainability mindset, we know the compound effect will eventually make a difference.” Says Leonie Pentz O’Connor, Global Sustainability Lead “I am super proud of these Consultants who selflessly volunteered their time and expertise to support these community members and specifically Ashleigh Ball, our Sustainability team member from South Africa who arranged this amazing initiative.”